Darren was educated at West Point (with a BS in international relations) and spent more than seven years in the U.S. Army, culminating as a company commander. He joined IPM in 2013, bringing with him the discipline, intensity, and adaptability he applied in his last job. Since then, he has built his reputation on serving IPM’s clients in the life sciences industry, with a specialty in advancing drug development programs. He lives in the St. Louis area with his wife and two young children.
When interviewing here, what impressed you most about IPM?
The most memorable and impressive part happened during my interview with our CEO, Rich Panico. He asked numerous questions about character, principles, and values. In my mind, that conversation demonstrated that IPM is a values-based organization.
How has your previous work (or life) experience prepared you for working at IPM?
Prior to joining IPM, I spent more than seven years as an officer in the United States Army. The Army moved me all over the world and required me to work in varying positions and jobs, none of which were ever the same. One of the primary lessons I learned was to remain flexible and adaptable. By nature, each of the projects we work on at IPM is different from the last, which may require us to change our approach to ensure project success. Remaining adaptable and open to change has been extremely helpful while working here.
What was one of the most challenging work situations you’ve encountered—and how did you handle it?
One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects about working at IPM is that you are often asked to work in and learn a new industry. To date, I have found that the key to successfully navigating a new industry is to do as much research and preparation as you can before your project start; however, more importantly, it is the ability to reach out to your fellow IPM colleagues. I guarantee that there is a fellow Project Management Consultant who has worked on a similar type of project and is ready and willing to share their lessons learned and experiences to help make you successful.
Do you have a favorite charity or philanthropic cause that you support or volunteer with?
I enjoy working as an Awana Sparks leader for our second-grade boys at church. Awana is an extracurricular global children’s and youth ministry serving more than 100 religious denominations.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Am I allowed to say bacon and steak? In all seriousness, when the opportunity presents itself, I enjoy fishing and golfing—although with my skillset, I’m not sure I can really call it “golfing.” I think the two that stand out as true hobbies include following St. Louis Cardinals baseball and being an avid board gamer.